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Self drive Hokkaido Itinerary Lake Akan - Be surrounded by the beautiful Akan & Ainu Culture

Summary
Day 1: Singapore - Hakodate Airport – Check in Hotel Hachimanzaka - Hakodate Dining Gaya
Day 2: Hakodate Morning Market - Ikura Tei - Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse - Lucky Pierrot- Onuma Quasi-National Park - Check-in Granvillage Toya Daiwa Ryokan Annex - Dinner at Ippontei
Day 3: Lake Toya - 岡田屋 - Fujimori Fruit Farm– Jozankei Hoheikyo Dam -Arrive in Sapporo – Suage 2 –  Shopping at Sapporo – check in at Hotel Sunroute New Sapporo
Day 4: Nijo Fish Market - Farm Tomita – Bluepond – Check in Ys Hotel Asahikawa Ekimae – Dinner at Aeon Mall
Day 5: Otokoyama Sake Brewery Museum - Daisetsuzan National Park - Set off to Shari – Dinner at 焼肉工房くりから知床斜里店– Check in Hotel Route Inn Grantia Shiretoko Shari Ekimae
Day 6: Lake Notoro – Lunch at Shiretoko Satomi– Hiking at Shiretoko Five Lake – Check in Hotel Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel
Day 7: Shiretoko Goko Lake - Kaminoko Pond – Forest of Akan Tsuruga Resort HANAYUUKA – Explore Lake Akan area
Day 8: Lake Akan - Lake Akan Eco Museum Center -  Lake Onneto - Butadon no Tonta Michelin Bib Gourmand – Rokkatei flagship - Kangetsuen Hotel
Day 9: Buta Don Pancho - Shopping in Sapporo  - HOTEL MYSTAYS Sapporo Nakajima Park 
Day 10: Sapporo - Singapore

Lake Kaminoko Pond
After the morning adventure, we set off to our next destination - Lake Kaminoko Pond. Also known as “The Child of God” from an Ainu Legend, the Kaminoko pond is a pond that draws its water from Lake Mashu’s underground spring. The pond is clear and blue! What gives the blue effect is actually the volcanic ash sitting at the bottom of the pond. When the sun shines, the pond reflects back blue light from the sun, giving it a vibrant colour. Although the pond looks very deep, it is only 5m deep. We can even see the fishes swimming in the pond!

Do note that the way up way up to the pond is very challenging for small cars. There are many pot-holes on the road and we had a hard time driving up. Be prepared to drive at 5 km/hr.

Address: Kiyoizumi, Kiyosato-cho, Shari, Hokkaido

Lake Akan Ainu Kotan
We proceed to our next destination -  Lake Akan. After checking into our hotel - Forest of Akan Tsuruga Resort HANAYUUKA, we visited the Ainu Village. The village is rebuilt to allow tourist to have a better understanding of the Ainu community. Buildings have been reconstructed in traditional style and there are many Ainu folk craft stores and restaurants on the street. At night, there are performances by Ainu community at the central stage!

Address: 4 Chome-7-19 Akancho Akankoonsen, Kushiro, Hokkaido 085-0467, Japan
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm, Daily

Day 8: Lake Akan - Lake Akan Eco Museum Center -  Lake Onneto - Butadonno Tonta Michelin Bib Gourmand – Kangetsuen Hotel

Lake Akan
After breakfast, we visited Lake Akan Park and took the easiest trail along Lake Akan. H told me that there is a rare Algae aka Marimo in the lake so we kept a lookout while we walk. The algae will form itself into cute green balls. Unfortunately, we were out of luck! We didn’t find any! Nonetheless, we had a good morning walk!

Lake Akan Eco Museum Center

Situated near the trail, We visited the Ecomuseum after the walk. The museum is a research centre for Marimo Algae and we finally saw Marimo Algae there! Besides, this museum provides information about the ecology in Lake Akan. Also, there are many life-size animal stuffing there. Kids will love it here!

1 Chome-1-1 Akancho Akankoonsen, Kushiro, Hokkaido 085-0467, Japan
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm, Daily except for Tuesday


Akan National Park - Lake Onneto
Our initial plan is to stop by Lake Mashu before stopping Lake Akan. However, we took another route by mistake. So ended up, had to give Lake Mashu a missed. H brought us to one
of the smaller lakes in the national park - Lake Onneto (on the east side) instead.

Although the photos of Lake Mashu looks really gorgeous, the view at lake Onneto isn’t too bad either! There was only 1 grp of people while we were there! Akan Mashu National Park is huge, so be sure to research where you plan to go!

Other things to do in Lake Akan
Photo Credit: source
Lake Mashu
Akan Mashu National Park is well known for beautiful lakes. The national park is separated into 2 parts - Hotspring resort and the beautiful lakes. Lake Mashu is located in the northeast part of the national park. The lake, well known as the 2nd clearest lake in the world, is said to be mysterious yet beautiful. Definitely, on our list to visit next time!
Photo Credit: source
Iozan (Sulfur Mountain)
Located near to Lake Mashu, there is an active volcano - Iozan. The vents can be viewed from a close-up. There are a few trails that people can explore. Oh, we read that you can even cook the egg using natural heat of the mountain!
Photo Credit: source
Kawayu Onsen
Kawayu Onsen is a small hot spring town in the region. Located near Iozan and in between Lake Mashu, the onsen water is especially acidic with a pH of 1.4 It has one of the strongest acid hot spring in Hokkaido, making it popular with many. It is said to promote metabolism in our body. However, people with sensitive skin need to avoid over-soaking.


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